Refraction - Although the speed changes and wavelength...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Refraction When we talk about the speed of light, we're usually talking about the speed of light in a vacuum, which is 3.00 x 10 8 m/s. When light travels through something else, such as glass, diamond, or plastic, it travels at a different speed. The speed of light in a given material is related to a quantity called the index of refraction, n, which is defined as the ratio of the speed of light in vacuum to the speed of light in the medium: index of refraction : n = c / v When light travels from one medium to another, the speed changes, as does the wavelength. The index of refraction can also be stated in terms of wavelength:
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Although the speed changes and wavelength changes, the frequency of the light will be constant. The frequency, wavelength, and speed are related by: The change in speed that occurs when light passes from one medium to another is responsible for the bending of light, or refraction, that takes place at an interface. If light is travelling from medium 1 into medium 2, and angles are measured from the normal to the interface, the angle of transmission of the light into the second medium is related to the angle of incidence by Snell's law :...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online